French government takes up anti-terrorism bill

French government takes up anti-terrorism bill

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News with wires
French government takes up anti-terrorism bill

French President Francois Hollande answers journalists' questions after a meeting focused on the economic crisis in the euro zone with Finnish Prime Minister at the Elysee Palace, AFP photo

President Francois Hollande and his ministers are taking up a proposal to tighten France’s anti-terrorism laws and deter French youths from traveling abroad for training in paramilitary camps like those run by radical Islamists.

The proposal floated by Socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls that goes before the Cabinet on Wednesday comes in the aftermath of a deadly shooting spree in southern France in March by young French radical Mohamed Merah. He claimed having links to al-Qaida and having received training in Pakistan.

Merah killed three Jewish children, a rabbi and three paratroopers over eight days before he was killed in a standoff with police.

"We have laws that pursue pedophiles who continue running wild abroad, but not for terrorists. Let us ensure that we can take action against them as [we do] against pedophilia and sex tourism," an intelligence specialist told Agence France-Press yesterday.

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government floated a similar proposal earlier this year. It never went through because parliament’s session was suspended for elections.